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Workforce Training Investment Allocates $7.4M For California

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced on Monday, Jan. 6 that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $7.4 million in the state of California to support disaster-related workforce training and emergency management efforts. The EDA grants will be matched with $1.075 million in local investment.

“Ensuring that communities have the trained workforce and adequate planning in place to support business growth and resilience is a major focus of the Trump administration,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new trades and skills training center in Santa Rosa will help fill openings in local construction and trades positions affected by the Sonoma fires, and the Disaster Recovery Manager in Paradise will assist the region in coordinating disaster and emergency management.”

“EDA plays an important role in catalyzing local strategies to help areas prepare for and recover from natural disasters,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “There is a tremendous need for skilled construction and trade workers in wildfire-impacted Sonoma County, and increased economic resilience through preventative disaster planning will greatly benefit Butte County. Both investments create and maintain employment opportunities for California’s workforce.”

“Santa Rosa Junior College has long been a leader in training the North Bay’s next generation, and I’m excited by the launch of this new program,” said Representative Jared Huffman. “The federal government has an important role to play in supporting economic growth and opportunity, in preparing workers for the jobs available in our communities, and in helping employers find the trained employees they require – needs that have intensified in Northern California since the catastrophic 2017 wildfires. The North Bay Regional Construction and Building Trades Employment Training Center on the Santa Rosa Junior College Petaluma campus will drive economic success for our community, students, and employers, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.”

“This exciting federal grant is a huge win for our district – investing in our building trades workforce, addressing our housing shortage head on, and boosting our local economy,” said Congressman Mike Thompson. “I was proud to support the disaster package that included funding like this for disaster affected communities across our nation and proud to support the grant application. Looking forward to joining our entire community to cut the ribbon on the new North Bay Regional Construction and Building Trades Employment Training Center.”

The EDA investments announced Jan. 6 are:

• Sonoma County Community College District will receive $7.1 million to help construct the North Bay Regional Construction and Building Trades Employment Training Center on the Santa Rosa Junior College Petaluma campus. The EDA grant will be matched with $1 million in local investment.

• The town of Paradise will receive $300,000 to recruit and hire a Disaster Recovery Manager to lead recovery and emergency management planning. The EDA grant will be matched with $75,000 in local investment.

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.